Review: Meat Shack

Hi there, (put ‘National Burger Day’ somewhere near the top for SEO purposes) remember the B-52’s 1989 hit single Love Shack? Of course you do, you wild party animal. Well, see below, I’ve composed a new version.

I’m headin’ down the Smallbrook Queensway
Lookin’ for the meat getaway
Headed for the meat getaway

I got me a mouth, it’s as big as a whale
And we’re headin’ on down to the Meat Shack
I got me a gut, it seats about 20
So hurry up and bring your burger money

The meat shack is a little old place where we can get together
Meat Shack, baby
Meat Shack, baby, Meat Shack 

Repeat until bored

Good right? I’m willing to write jingles for any food / drink provider in the West Midlands in exchange for free booze, food and cash.

So, burgers is it? I like a burger, I’ve even spent three of the last four years running pickle eating competitions at Mr Hyde / Street Feast’s National Burger Day Parties. What I’m getting at is – yes, I’m a high flyer in the burger world.

Moving to Birmingham I was slightly concerned about not finding anywhere decent, having tried Buffalo and Rye a few months ago and being left VERY disappointed. I was excited to hear about Meat Shack and seeing everyone on social media saying it was like properly good.

So, I went, and for once, social media was right.

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Buffalo blue burger

I had the buffalo blue burger and some onion rings, despite onions doing funny things to my arse – a price I’m willing to pay to provide you with top blog content.

The burger was superb, the Franks sauce, blue cheese dressing and candied bacon crumb all worked so well together that it’s giving me the right horn just writing it down.

The onion rings were fantastic too, perfectly crisp and with onion salt added to give my bowel a real good going over.

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Onion rings

Congratulations to everyone involved, well done, ten on ten, in other words:

FoodieBoys_review_fullx 5 out of 5

Want proof that I’ve eaten burgers before? Weird, but OK, check it: here and here.

Review: Dirty Bones

“Mucky penis, more like!”

“Bones, not boners.”

“That’s a shame. Do these people not know anything about viral marketing?”

This was the conversation I had while discussing where to go for lunch on Saturday. We had planned to go to the Rum Kitchen but a truly baffling conversation about trying to book a table for three people left me so exasperated that I’ve decided I can never eat jerk chicken ever again.

Dirty bones – when someone says let’s go and eat at ‘Dirty Bones’, the first thing that comes to mind is of course Richard III and his skeleton found having a nap in a council car park in Leicester.

Richard’s boozy brunches

Not a lot of people know, but one of the reasons Richard III was defeated, and killed, at the battle of Bosworth was because he was a bit pissed.

He and a few of the other House of York lads had gone for one of their infamous ‘Boozy Brunches’. Here they’d drink shit loads of Prosecco and eat hundreds of tubes of Pringles.

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Dickie suffering from Pringles hand

It is perhaps with this in mind that Dirty Bones offer their:

“BOOZY BRUNCH: Feel the weekend vibes at London’s best boozy brunch.

Our Boozy Brunch Flights get you up to four dirty drinks for £19pp, with options including the Lexy cocktail, Dirty Mary cocktail, Spiked Ice Coffee or prosecco by the glass. Mix n’ match, or pick your poison and stick to it.”

The Dirty Mary cocktail a clear nod to Richard and his exploits, with the rim of the glass adorned with with sour cream Pringles.

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Dirty Mary cocktail

I enjoyed the Dirty Mary and the Spiked Coffee had a decent amount of booze in it. Congratulations everyone.

Coffee cocktail Foodie Boys

Spiked coffee

FOOD

Now, as it was the weekend the restaurant were only offering their Weekend Brunch menu. I searched the menu for something with bones in it.

“Excuse me, waiter! I have a bone to pick with you. Does the chicken and waffles have any bones in it?”

“We hope not!” the waiter laughed.

“Oh, that’s a shame. The caramelised banana waffles?”

“Erm, I wouldn’t have thought so.

With no bones for me to chew on I decided on the short rib hash.

14 hour slow-cooked pulled short rib finished with caramelised shallots and mustard seeds. Served with potatoes and two eggs.

Maybe it’s because I was very hungry, maybe it’s because I’m a fat man, but there wasn’t enough rib for my liking, however, it was very tasty.

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Short rib hash

Fortunately, the others had ordered burgers and fries, so I ate their incredibly addictive skinny fries with onion and garlic salt like a man possessed.

I had a dessert ‘milk and cookie’ which was milk gelato and a soft baked cookie. The milk gelato was alright, and the cookie was hard. The fact a fat man who is desperate to be morbidly obese, and to achieve type two diabetes, didn’t finish it – speaks volumes.

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All in all, you’d have to say:

3.75 boys out of 5.

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Review: Yeah! Burger

After our incredibly successful review of We Serve Humans at the Jackdaw and Star (over  ****** potential impressions on Twitter achieved and a healthy ****** blog views reached – get in touch to find out the numbers behind the stars) it wasn’t a big surprise to hear from the marketing guys at the Star pubs again.

“Please,” they begged “will you come and review ‘Yeah Burger’ at the Star by Hackney Downs?”

“Hang on, let me get this straight – East London and burgers, right?”

“Correct.”

“We were hoping you’d say: ‘Yeah’.”

“Oh, yeah. So, are you up for it?”

There was only one answer to that: “Absolutely.”

Toby

I arrived twenty minutes before Tony, due to typically poor transport planning on his part.

“What shall I do?” I asked him.

“Go incognito,” urged Tony “pretend you’re just an ordinary schmuck from the street and see how they treat you.”

I ordered a pint and tried not to betray my celebrity status, but I fear the bar staff were all too aware that I had something special about me.

Tony

TFL fucked me, yet again, leaving Toby to try and initiate the blogger / vendor process.

Worried, I told him to get himself a pint, keep his mouth shut and not to do anything that could jeopardise us getting burgers.

I arrived to see Toby propping up the bar shouting about geese to a poor bartender.

Toby

“Fire me over a couple of GEESE please, barkeep!” I said to the bartender, wooing her with my wordplay.

There was a beer called ‘Goose IPA’ you see.

I had already bought a Camden Hells that I hadn’t finished, but I couldn’t turn down this opportunity to impress the young, possibly Australian woman behind the bar.

“GEESE, you see, is the plural of GOOSE!”

“TOBY! Leave that woman alone,” Tony shrieked as he ran towards the bar on entering the pub.

“What can I get you?” she calmly asked.

“Two goose, please.”

“GEESE!” Toby yelled again.

“Go and get us a table, Toby.”

Oooh political

As a pair of deeply political kinda guys we were pleased to see ‘Yeah Burgers’ getting on board with the General Election. 

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“Where the fuck is Sir Timothy Farron in all this?” Tony demanded to know.

“He thinks burgering is a sin.” Toby laughed to himself, “burgering – like buggering, like what gays do.”

“Yes, I got it.”

The food

We didn’t try those political items as we thought we may be swayed from a truly impartial review.

So, we settled for a Gladiator burger, and a beef Coney Island hot dog.

The Gladiator burger was very much a burger, but with confit garlic mayo, avocado and most importantly chicken skin. The chicken skin was a delicious addition and the salty hit instantly cured Tony’s hangover.

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Gladiator burger


“Surprised it’s not GOOSE SKIN,” shouted Toby, looking around the pub, desperate for a reaction.

The Coney Island hot dog was a beef frank with ketchup, mustard and crispy onions.

Toby scraped away some of the tasty onions as they do his IBS riddled stomach a right mischief – life can be so cruel.

Coney Island hot dog

Coney Island hot dog

“The bread should be OK seeing as it’s sourdough,” he assured the barman, who had a Jeremy Corbyn T-Shirt on, “the onions perhaps not! Onions for the many! Not for the poo!”

“Shut up, Toby.”

The burger and hot dog were excellent, as were the fries and sweet potato fries.

The side order of pickles was a bit sad, and not very pickly.

“Is everything OK with your food?” asked the bartender as she cleared our empty glasses.

“It is, very good indeed. But could you help us with something, what genre is the music that’s playing in here currently?”

“Um, I’m not sure who it is.”

“Ah yes, but is it… Grime?”

“It could be Grime. Yes. I think it’s Grime.”

“YES!” We had never heard this music before and were thrilled to be part of Corbyn’s grime scene.

You do not have to say anything…

Before we left, Toby wanted to get to the bottom of the barkeep’s mysterious accent.

“Hello, I’m Detective Inspector Twang, and I’m making routine inquiries today.”

“I’m sorry?” she had now become wary of our conversations.

“I’m from the Dialect Squad. Anything you say will be taken as evidence.” He winked slowly.

“I really don’t understand what you’re on about.”

“Sorry about him,” apologised Tony.

“999, ACCENT EMERGENCY” shouted Toby as Tony dragged him away and with him, his last chance to woo this enigma of a lady.

YEAH OR NAH?

It’s a YES YEAH from us for Yeah Burger at The Star by Hackney Downs. It’s a fine way to spend your summer afternoon; go for the burgers, stay for the grime and leave before you meet Toby.

4 Boys out of five

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Review: Little Social

I’ve seen Jason Atherton on Saturday Kitchen quite a few times, he wears tight t-shirts in that: “Yeah, I’m a middle aged man, sure, I look after myself. I like a couple of pints with the boys but I’m equally happy with a kale smoothie? Absolutely. What’s the big deal?” kind of way. And fair play to him.

Jason has 74,000 restaurants spread across the world. Many of them have the word ‘social’ attached to them.

City Social – you’re only allowed in if you had a part to play in the financial crash.

Social Eating House – the menu is inspired by bricks.

Pollen Street Social – the waiting staff all buzz constantly, only stopping once they’ve stabbed you and they perish.

And then there’s Little Social where the chef is a midget. It was here we went for a birthday lunch back in January! I know! So many questions, like: How has it taken me so long to write this up? Why didn’t I take a photo of the menu so I could remember what I ate? Aren’t professional kitchens potentially hazardous to midgets?

What I can tell you is that I had a cocktail, here’s a picture of it. It was very nice indeed.

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Here’s a photo of some butter, which I almost certainly had with some bread. If memory serves me correctly this was also perfectly pleasant.

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Here is my starter. Now, this was a beetroot based starter, and I do remember it as it was very nice.

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Here’s a mackerel. I think it was alright, I mean mackerel is always alright isn’t it really. Cheers mackerel.

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Here’s a bottle of wine we drunk. Notice the butter in the background, it’s been partly eaten. This lends weight to my earlier point about having consumed the butter with some bread.

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What can you say? A lunch time menu – 3 courses for £30 (I think, it was in that ball park) enjoyed in the knowledge that you’re helping a midget. Perfect.

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3.5 boys out of 5.

Review: Duke of Sussex

Before we begin discussing food we thought it might be useful to give you some interesting facts – meaning you come away from the blog with knowledge you didn’t have before. You might then share this newly acquired knowledge with your friends – helping to boost our reach.

DID YOU KNOW?: When Prince Harry gets married, his Grandma is going to make him the Duke of Sussex? I know?!

DID YOU KNOW?: The first Duke of Sussex was Prince Augustus Frederick, the sixth son of King George III, back in 1801.

DID YOU KNOW?: The Duke of Sussex is also a pub by  Chiswick Park station / Acton Green.

“How will this help boost your reach?” you ask. Well, allow us to explain.

“You know that Prince Harry?” You say while sat in a pub / on the bus / having a smear test.

“Yes,” responds your friend / the driver / the nurse.

“He’ll become the Duke of Sussex when he gets married.”

“Oh really? Where did you hear that?”

“FoodieBoys.com.”

It really is that simple.

The Duke and tapas

Prince Augustus Frederick absolutely adored tapas and once famously said to his mate John, “John lad, there’s just something proper reassuring about paying £60 for 6 tiny plates of food rather than spending £15 on one actual meal.”

Augustus loved tapas so much that he actually used to spell his surname ‘Frederack’ just so he could say his name contained all the letters that make up the word ‘tapas’.

His dedication was SO great he actually grew giant croquetas in his garden.

The first Duke of Sussex showing off his massive croqueta.

With all this in mind it is of little surprise to find a pub named after the Duke serving up tapas to the eager mouths of West London.

The food

It was a… Tuesday afternoon I believe, possibly a Wednesday or even a Thursday, when we entered the pub (for full disclosure I can’t remember but it could have been any day of the week that wasn’t a Friday, Saturday or Sunday – I remember those days, it’s the others that are all just one long, sad, blurry march towards death).

We entered the pub and ordered various tapas items and a bottle of Rioja – I ordered Rioja as it is from Spain and I wanted to impress the barkeep. “I’ll have one of the SPANISH riojas,” I said, just loud enough for the rest of the pub to hear.

The wine was good, I also had a beer which was most pleasant. The food was, like so much tapas, total and utter ‘meh’ as people on the internet used to say back in the day.

Before we leave you with the all important score, there’s one last fact for you.

DID YOU KNOW?: The first Duke of Sussex invented aioli? 

The first Duke of Sussex discussing aioli with his mate John.

The score

2.5 boys out of 5.

As far as bog standard tapas goes this is well up there. The Duke would have been piiiiiiiiiiised.

Review: Duck and Rice – London

The Chinese New Year is the perfect time of year to indulge in the cuisine of the Chinese.

The Chinese are famed for making all sorts of food – rice, dumplings and noodles to name just a few.

During Chinese New Year celebrations it’s traditional to eat fish as it’s considered to be a lucky food – not so lucky for the fish!!!

I didn’t feel like eating fish though, plus it’s the year of the Rooster , so I had a think and the closest thing I could think of was a ‘seagull’ but seagull meat is yet to become a mainstream meat sold in the UK* so I came to the conclusion that I’d go and eat some duck.

THUS I ended up at Duck and Rice in London’s trendy Soho district.

“Gōngxǐ fācái.” I greeted the barman.

“Sorry?” He responded.

“Happiness and prosperity!” I shouted towards the other bar folk.

“Oh, thank you. What can I get you?”

“A table for two please.”

“Would you like to sit in the bar or upstairs in the restaurant?”

“Bùbù gāoshēng.” I answered confidently.

“I’m not sure what that means.”

“A steady rise to high places!”

“Oh, so the restaurant.?”

“Nah, I’ll sit down here.”

I ordered some beer, some fried chicken and some duck and rice – a dish cleverly sharing the name of the restaurant!

The beer was ‘hǎo’, the duck and rice was ‘pretty salty’, and the chicken was ‘hélǐ’. (Good/pretty salty/fine)

Three boys out of five.

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* – Now on to important matters: As anyone who has visited a seaside town in Britain recently will realise – Seagulls are a pest and a danger to our way of life. I propose we start murdering them and serving them up at a restaurant in London’s trendy Soho district.

What do seagulls taste like?

Think about it – they eat fish and chips – so surely they’re like a chicken that tastes of fish and chips?

Inspired by my trip to Duck and Rice I thought I’d name the restaurant after the signature dish served there. Get in touch for investment opportunities for ‘Seagull and Sausage’.

Review: Foxlow – Chiswick

I read the other day that the Stoke Newington branch of Foxlow was closing down after receiving a food hygiene rating of zero.

Eager to find out what all the fuss was about I made my way to their Chiswick branch to see if I could contract something that would give me a few days off work.

Sadly, the Chiswick branch has a an absolutely massive 5/5 on the hygiene scale.

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Foxlow is the sister restaurant to the renowned Badgerhigh, Soho.

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We decided to sit in the bar area and ordered cocktails and anchovy crisps to start us off.

“I bet your anchovies are pretty hygienic!” I suggested.

“What?” Replied the waitress.

“I imagine the anchovies have washed their hands!”

“I don’t think they have hands.”

“A good point well made, well, they’ve probably disinfected their shoes!” I laughed.

“I don’t think they have shoes.”

Anyway, let me tell you about the anchovy crisps. They’re on a little crisp bread/cracker type thing, with some goats cheese butter/mousse, an anchovy fillet and a couple of shallot rings.

Now, I bloody love anchovies. I put them on everything: pizzas, Coco Pops, satsumas. These anchovy crisps are exceptional – I’d happily eat 4,000 of them in a sitting.

My main consisted of jerked pork – a pig that has been wanked to death and covered in spices.

As a manly man who has lived in India (have I ever mentioned that before? I should probably mention it more often) I like a bit of spice, but I was disappointed as the pork didn’t even come close to making me cry.

It came with an apple and fennel slaw which was nice and allowed me to go into a rant about how there’s fucking fennel on everything.

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Jerked Pork

We had a side of broccoli which was covered in garlic and lemon juice – this was good – all vegetables are better when they’re covered in garlic.

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Broccoli

Dessert – a malt chocolate pannacotta.

“That looks like a mess,” my dining partner mentioned.

“It does, it has an air of a dubious bowel movement that’s been covered in Oreos and Ovaltine.”

Fortunately, it tasted good.

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Malt chocolate pannacotta

Decent food, decent drinks, and no sign of food poisoning.

We did wait about 15 minutes to pay the bill as everyone disappeared, which was annoying.

“We could just leave,” my lady friend said.

“We could…” I pondered this for a while and came up with all the pros and cons:

Pro: Free dinner
Con: Dying in jail.

In the end I decided to pay.

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3.75 boys out of 5

FoodieBoys food tour of Kent #LongRead

“There are only so many London restaurants, we don’t want to run out before our domain registration, www.foodieboys.com, expires.” Tony sighed.

“Too true, perhaps we should go and review some places in Kent. After all, Kent is much like London. They have similar accents, for example.”

“I was thinking the exact same thing.”

And so it was we took the evening train heading East, towards a little place they call Birchington Vale Caravan park.

Friday

To get there we alighted the train, with all our personal belongings, at Westgate-on-Sea.

“Okay Google” shouted Toby at his Android phone, “Westgate-on-Sea foodie locations.”

Next thing you know, we’re standing outside Paul’s, which came complete with a 4.2 Google rating from five reviews. We entered and immediately noticed the delightful outside area.

“It reminds me of a Spanish garden,” Tony mused.

“I knew a girl who had her bum hole licked in a Spanish garden,” Toby shouted slightly too loudly as we pulled the door open.

After explaining ourselves we were granted permission to stay.

“Hi, we’re the FoodieBoys and we’d like to try some of your local, seasonal fare,” we said in unison.

“We’ve got burgers,” the barmaid said.

“That is SO London.We’ll have two.”

“How would you like them cooked?”

“Medium-rare please, we’re foodies from London.”

The burgers arrived, topped with blue cheese and bacon. They were perfectly pleasant, although neither of them were medium-rare. Perhaps to be expected in the sticks.

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Not a medium-rare burger.

After devouring our medium-well burgers we asked at the bar for a cab to take us to the caravan park.

“Call for carriages!” Tony shrieked.

“Sorry?” the barmaid responded.

“We need a taxi to take us to the caravan park.”

“Oh.”

And so the taxi driver came, hunched over, into the bar. “TAXI FOR THE FOODIE BOYS!” He was quite the character and even asked if he could work with us on our website. We of course declined.

The Birchington Vale Caravan park came fully equipped with a bar, full to the brim of drunken men and children high on litres and litres of slush puppy.

We perused the menu to see what sort of culinary delights we might enjoy.

Chicago Town pizza or Chicago Town pizza were the options. Washed down with slush puppy.

“We’re going to need that freak taxi driver again,” Toby said with delight.

Saturday

Sure enough Saturday arrived, how predictable.

During the day we ate Hula Hoops, biscuits and Feast ice creams acquired from the shop, as well as some exquisite flapjacks.

When evening arrived we headed to the bustling, seaside town of Margate – FoodieBuoys more like!!

After a pleasant hour chatting to locals on the seafront, we decided we needed to book a table at a local bistro.

“OKAY GOOGLE,” bellowed Toby, much to the bewilderment of the locals.

But before he could complete the sentence, Tony chimed in, “what about this place?”

The website’s mobile site confusingly hid the menu from us so we decided it must be exclusive. We used our influence on Twitter to acquire a table at Giorgios – an Italian/ Greek / Mediterranean restaurant depending on which site you read.

Walking in, we found that a huge stag party had also found their way into the place, but we recognised the commercial imperative that large venues have to get as many people in as possible to make their restaurant economically viable. Plus, we were hungry and didn’t know anywhere else to go. So we snapped up our table.

Cocktails! Personally, we can’t have a meal without having at least one before. That’s because we’re London foodies, you may feel differently. We ordered espresso martinis but received one more than we asked for*! Whether this was a genuine mistake, or an attempt to butter up #FoodInfluencers we can’t be sure.
(*Full disclosure – we did not request this but these “mistakes” are a perk of the job.)

We ordered our food.

Starters: Tone opted for scallops with bacon and asparagus, while Tobes went for a mozzarella and tomato salad.

“It freaks my nut every time I piss after asparagus,” Tony told the owner.

Mains: Sea Bass with lemon and white wine jus and a ‘Grigliata Mista’ – steak, chicken, sausage, aubergine and chips.

“I can see why you call it a Mista!” Toby said to the waitress as it was placed before him.

“Sorry?” she replied.

“I can see why you call it a Mista!”

“I’m not sure I follow.”

“You wouldn’t called it a Missus, would you?”

“Erm, no. Can I get you any more drinks?”

“Because it’s too big for a woman isn’t it? Really. Unless she had a particularly large appetite, which is fine, I actually like women who eat more than me. Have you ever been in a Spanish garden?”

“JUST some tap water please!” Tony interrupted.

The food was fine. Look at the pictures and taste it for yourself. Do we really have to explain everything to you?

Although we were stuffed, we thought we’d order dessert. Chocolate fudge cake and a chocolate fondant.

Sadly, when thrusting my spoon through the fondant it did not deliver a gooey ending. If this had happened in London I would have demanded to see the chef, but I presumed the ovens in Kent may not work as effectively, so let them off.

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Solid fondant

Sunday

Another day of eating like four year old children left to their own devices for the first time at the caravan park left us hungry for more of Kent’s foodie scene.

So, obviously we went to Broadstairs.

We were busy debating our favourite type of sausage in the back of the taxi when the driver began to talk.

“Charles Dickens used to live here you know.”

“I think the Lincolnshire is better than the Cumberland and you’re never going to be able to persuade me otherwise.” Tony declared.

“Charles Dickens used to eat sausages here.” Said the driver, desperately.

“Bollocks.” Toby said, we threw a tenner at him and jumped out. He shouted, “THIS HAS GOT CHARLES DICKENS ON IT” as he drove away.

We walked around the corner and BAM! The Charles Dickens pub.

“He was right!”

What does Sunday say to you? To some it would say “church,” others would say “The Observer,” but to Tobes it would say “Roast.”

So he ordered the lamb roast but Tony went for the fish and chips, as he’d spent the day looking at the sea and wondering if fish eat potatoes.

We had a top seat, right next to the kitchen. An exclusive spot! We saw our food being plated up which was a real treat.

“HEY! What are you doing to his fish?” Toby yelled.

“I’m just checking its temperature,” the chef said as he removed the metal thermometer from the cod.

“Bit late for that, mate, it’s already dead!” Tony quipped, but sadly they’d disappeared around the back of the kitchen so they couldn’t hear it.

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Fish with lemon in a little bag, “the best invention I’ve ever seen,” – Toby.

Monday

Time to go home.

We bid farewell to the oddballs at the caravan park ( including the topless man shouting “this is the life eh mate?” as he drove past on a sit on mower) and headed back to Westgate-on-Sea. With an hour to kill before our train we spotted an opportunity for one last foodie adventure.

We approached the man working at the train station.

“Hello, do you know anywhere we can get a coffee?”

“I’m not from here,” he barked at us.

“Oh, so you don’t know anywhere that sells coffee near the station where you work?”

“No.”

With this horrid interaction ringing in our ears we disconsolately trundled up the street. Fortunately, about 200 metres from the station were three cafes.

“Perhaps he’s blind?” Toby tried to justify the station master’s actions.

“He wasn’t blind! He was just a massive twat.” Tony shouted as we flung the door to the Beano cafe open.

“I’ll have the breakfast special and a flat white please.”

“A flat what?”

“White.”

“Make it two coca cola, a special breakfast and a sausage and chips please, buddy?” Toby interrupted, bored of this second difficult interaction of the day.

“Look at that plastic washing-up bowl full of bacon,” Tony said, for there was one.

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Mmm special

We speculated as to why the cafe was called the Beano cafe, and settled on the fact there must have been a character who made shit breakfasts, maybe one of the minor ones in the middle you didn’t read. Like Beryl the Peril.

Kent’s food scene clearly wasn’t prepared for us and we’ve come to the conclusion that London is better than Kent.

Kent gets two boys out of five.

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Review: Rockfish (Dartmouth)

To celebrate Easter 2016 I decided to take a trip to Devon, as Jesus might have done had he been born in Birmingham rather than Bethlehem.

On the Friday I decided to celebrate the death of the big JC by eating his favourite meal – fish, chips and curry sauce.

I settled on the Dartmouth branch of seafood chain Rockfish.

I took my seat and the waiter began to circle the fish they had available on the placemat in front of me.

“WHOA! I shouted. “Don’t write on the placemat!”

“It’s paper, sir.”

“My mistake. Please continue.”

He circled the gurnard, whiting and hake.

I grabbed the felt tip pen from him and wrote, ‘WWJH?’.

He looked at me, confused. I wrote it again, this time slightly bigger. I wrote it a third time – yet still he didn’t grasp what was happening.

“What would Jesus have?”

“Oh, I’m not sure. Perhaps the Whiting?”

“No! He’d have had the Gurnard, obviously. He would also have had a bottle of cider and some curry sauce.”

“I see, and what can I get you?”

‘WJWHH!’ I scrawled on the last remaining bit of space on the mat.

“What…Jesus…would…have…had?” The waiter nervously uttered.

“CORRECT!”

Fish and chips

Fish and chips

My cider was crisp and refreshing – just as Jesus would have liked.

The chips were chippy, and were ‘eat as many as you like’, so I ordered a second portion as Jesus would have wanted me to be obese.

The fish was very good. I’ve often heard people say, “Oooh, what a meaty fish,” and I’ve often thought, “what a load of bollocks.” However, I can confirm that this Gurnard was a meaty fish.

All in all, I felt full and a littler closer to our Lord and Saviour.

Four boys out of five.

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Review: William Blue Dining – Sydney

As some of you may remember, towards the end of last year Tony took an ill-fated business trip to Sydney to scope out the viability of starting a food blog in Australia.

It was ill-fated for two reasons:

1) I got food poisoning on the first night of a week long trip to the other side of the world.
2) It turns out the vast majority of Australians can’t actually read – rendering a potential food blog redundant.

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Sydney rock oysters

On my last full day in Sydney, with my bowel back to full working order, I decided I should treat myself to a nice lunch.

After some Googling my options seemed to be:

1) Eat a packet of chicken flavoured Twisties
2) Leave my hotel.

I opted for the latter. I ended up at the William Blue college of hospitality management . I think I was drawn in by the catchy name (it’s now known as William Blue Dining)

It’s a restaurant run by hospitality students. I just couldn’t pass up the opportunity to inspire the next generation of hospitality workers.

Anyway, I got a table for one and an eager young man fetched me some water and some bread. Bless him, he was so nervous he was shaking. He was obviously clued up on the foodie world and knew he was serving a FoodieBoy!

To begin I ordered the  Sydney rock oysters with red wine, shallot (they called it ‘eschallot’ for some reason – bloody Australians) and tomato vinaigrette. The vinaigrette offered a sharp contrast to the (insert adjective for texture which can apply to oysters here) of the oysters.

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Roast pork loin

My main of roast pork loin, crackling, crispy kale, colcannon croquette and apple cider jus was tender and very tasty. The colcannon croquette was a treat.

I asked the waiter to sing me the colcannon song while I ate, but sadly he was unaware of the lyrics. Upon hearing this I leapt from the table, adopted my best ‘Oirish’ accent and sang, merrily:

Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?
With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake
Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?

The chorus:

Yes you did, so you did, so did he and so did I.
And the more I think about it sure the nearer I’m to cry.
Oh, wasn’t it the happy days when troubles we had not,
And our mothers made Colcannon in the little skillet pot.

Repeat to fade:

Did you ever eat Colcannon, made from lovely pickled cream?
With the greens and scallions mingled like a picture in a dream.
Did you ever make a hole on top to hold the melting flake
Of the creamy, flavoured butter that your mother used to make?

Blushing, the waiter said, “Crikey mate, that’s one of the most bloody moving things that’s every happened to me, mate.”

I said, “mate, stop calling me ‘mate’, mate.”

We embraced, I sat back down, and told him to bring me dessert and a glass of shiraz.

The dessert was a chocolate delice, orange and cardamom ice cream, pop rocks and orange sherbet.

Chocolate delice

Chocolate delice

This was most pleasant.

I asked the waiter to sing me the orange and cardamom ice cream song while I ate. He looked worried. “Only joking, there isn’t one!” I said, as I laughed myself to tears.

A very nice meal indeed.

Four boys out of five.

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